What time is love? – The National Open indoor 1500m 2020

Despite the fact that Father time (I can’t call him Old Father Time anymore) is driving me at full pelt towards 50 town let it never be said that I am too old to learn. Maybe that’s just a kind way of saying I made another boo boo, but no I think maybe to be fair it’s another part of the learning curve.

Aye another race and nothing goes straight forward for bald numpty heid.
I entered the national indoors prior to entering Manchester Marathon, just to be clear. It’s not part of my training plan, I just decided to do it since I had spent the money. I’m tight.When I was young I enjoyed the 1500, but since I started back a few years ago I have been utterly honking at them. Stole a LAAA bronze in 4.48 4 years ago and since then have got slower every race. Was last the next year, and in my last attempt ran 4.55 at Livingston having got my pacing all wrong. Aye safe to say it’s not my most distinguished event. Had a look at my potential heat and all decent runners, all around the 4.50 mark so would hopefully get carried around and dip under the 4.50. In my head I thought I could actully PB chase after my 3000m race and thought 4.45 realistic and if all went well then maybe faster, but the early pace would be the most important thing for me. The last few I had run I had went out far too fast and died on my arse.

Wouldn’t do that today.

Learning.

Clever big boy.

I was really happy that Elaine and the boys could be along to support me, put me at ease a bit and had a good chat with JK of Law who was looking in the mood for his race. He ended up winning superbly having got his tactics perfect. Big Sean from Cumbernauld started playing his head games with me which was good fun when the heats were announced.

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Aye a good heat. The afore mentioned Sean and his team mate Alicia who is smashing her PBs just now, Lesley Bell of Garscube, Rory from Maryhill who I know is winning everything at his club just now, a lad Jordan from Sunderland I had a good chat with, and a few others. I was drawn in lane one. Knew I had to be away fast to avoid getting boxed in, so of course the gun went, I slipped and didn’t. Oops.

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Saved me having to take the pace on I guess, few wee elbows and I was back out again. A young lad I didnt know was away like a banshee, on you go pal. Quick look at the clock after the first 100 and the pace looked ridiculously fast.

No Marko.

NO!

Going too fast, you’ll die.

Slowed it down and was happy to let Jordan and Rory lead our group out. The young lad was getting so far ahead. Was already two races, him away the rest of us racing as a group. Second lap and still a little quick, I knew my splits that I wanted for the time I had in my head. If I was to go under 4.40 – the big big challenge – I needed each 100 to be 18-19. The laps went in and I felt fine. Jordan had pulled away but the elastic wasn’t broke.

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He was still in touching distance. I was running controlled, but within myself. Two laps to go knew if I wanted anything I would have to go for it now, I am not a sprint finisher, there’s maybe 5 of us in touch with each other.

I pass Rory, bridge the gap on Jordan and with a lap and a half to go up the ante. Thanks to Richie Carr from Cambuslang who videoed it from here.

I had worked out of I got to the bell at 4.02, a 37 last lap would be doable to get under 4.40. The clock at 4.04 as I go through so I kicked off and went for it. The crowd were amazing, the commentator exciting, I knew that Rory would be poised to go by me too as I could hear him, so it had to be all out. I was catching early pace setter Cameron but was never going to actually catch him but ran hard to the line just holding off Rory hitting my watch as the clock was showing 4.34. Second place. The commentator saying 4.34. Not sure if that was for me or for Cameron, but I woudn’t be far off that, 4.35,4.36 maybe. Utterly delighted. A lot of happy faces timewise, a few PBs being mentioned.

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Elaine telling me it’s 4.34 she thinks. Utterly chuffed to bits. Off for my cool down feeling like a baldy golden god for once. Come back in and check the results.

4.40.4 What?

No.

Must be a mistake. Check the watch which I actually hadn’t done during or after the race. 4.39.8. About the same. I didn’t get it, I couldn’t understand. The others in the race had different times to the clock too. You know all I can think of that could have happened, as no one actually told us, is that the clock was faulty, that it hadn’t started when it should. That’s probably why the first couple of laps had seemed too sharp. Instead of racing and going by feel, having been burned before going out too fast, I slowed it down and clock watched and let it dictate my pace. I thought I was being a smart arse and had got it perfect, smashing my best and my target.

Doh.

I felt fresh at the end to be fair. I could and should have run under 4.40. I may never get another chance and can’t blame anyone except myself. Maybe in a perfect world if the clock is wrong it would be switched off, or the athletes would be told there was a difference and not think they were running at a specific pace, but at the end of the day my race, my responsibility.

But the positives. An 8 second PB. Reversed the getting slower 1500m cavalcade. My family were proud of me. I went out the next day and did 21 miles to finish off a 55 mile week which for me is not bad.

So there you go, my lesson this week. Go by how you feel and not by the clock. Silly Marko. Really enjoyed it though and hope to do some more indoors next year, but for now it’s back to the Marathon trining. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Elaine for the pics and Richie for the video.

The song. An old classic. What time were we running? What time did we run? What time is love?

Addendum: For the first time ever I am ranked no 1 in Britain for my age group for 1500m. Ok when you click on it I’m the only one in my age group to do it so far this year but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t 😂

 

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